Exquisite Fall 2000 Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Nude & Black Net 3D 'Script' Dress
This dress is a work of art and instantly recognizable as being a Gaultier. His career spans decades. His first show was in 1976 and his avant garde designs quickly gained him the reputation of being fashion's 'l'enfant terrible'. His designs mixed cultures with abandon, gender norms were blurred and the body was presented encased in ways unimaginable prior to his own unique vision. His first Haute Couture collection debuted in 1997 and his final show where he was the designer was in Spring 2020. He has since then had guest designers come in for his couture collections and I love this solution for him as a designer. Gaultier couture rarely comes to market and this one is exceptional. It is also very well documented.
The Fall 2000 Haute Couture presentation was called 'Paris and its Muses'. I have included the original runway reference photos here and tyou can see that this is the twin of the runway look. Doutzen Kroes was photoed in it for Vanity Fair that season and in 2013 its twin dress was featured in the exhibit "The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk". I was invited and attended the opening of that show in San Francisco and I love having this dress in hand now. This dress was obviously a favourite of Jean Paul's because he also chose to recreate a version of it for his Fall 2018 Haute Couture collection. That 2018 version was then worn by Rita Ora for the 2018 MTV VMAs. I believe that this may have been the only dress that was produced beyond the runway version
The dress is made from a layer of fine black silk netting that falls over an interior nude coloured lingerie weight stretch silk. This makes it very easy to wear and be comfortable on despite the dramatic feel it has. Onto the silk netting are hand made and hand applied letters made of a black silk chiffon shaped over stiffened netting inside them. This is how they get that 3D dimensional feel that you see. It is fascinating to think that the entire dress would have had to have been careful planned out prior to its creation. Every single word that you see running over its surface would have had to have been laid out and placed on the netting for it to all work before it was even started. The degree that each word would need to curve over the body would have had to be planned for and then each word meticulously sewn onto the netting by hand like a puzzle. The letters cover the dress from head to toe and include 'Cherie', 'Mon Amour', 'Jean Paul Gaultier', 'Paris' and more. It falls from the shoulders and skims over the body and then widens out dramatically as it nears the hem. Where the words are set along the hem the hem is actually done to follow their shapes. A stunning couture detail. The letters also cleverly act as support to hold the fullness of the dress and are in a way like having a crinoline but one that is done in letters and attached on the outside of the skirt rather then worn underneath and hidden. The entire dress is suspended from the shoulders from straps that are just wide enough to accommodate the lettering that runs over them. The front has a low scoop and the back dips into a low V for some bare skin to show. It skims over the waist and then it flares out dramatically to the hem. The entire dress is bias cut so moves beautifully over the body. All of the seams are finished with proper couture techniques and it is as beautiful to see as the outside. This is a dress that would have taken hundreds of hours to complete and you really are wearing a piece of art. I am obsessed. Excellent condition with some very minor notes below
Composed of two layers, the inner nude lingerie weight stretch silk and then the netted layer over that. The inner layer closes with a zipper and the outer layer snaps to close with a tightly spaced series of tiny snaps. There is some minor stress to the netting around the seam of the armholes. I see a couple of the ends of a word that have popped through the silk a bit and some small tiny snags/ stress to the netting here and there. All of these are very minor. Please see the photos after the Couture label. The dress otherwise looks to have been worn very little if at all. Made by hand to Haute Couture standards. It's proper Haute Couture tag is present and it comes to me direct from the original couture client . It is extraordinary and rare.
Bust: 15-19" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: to 15 " flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: to 20" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 62" from top of shoulder to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: SML-MED
Reference Photos: (1-2) Fall 2000 Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Runway Collection. / (3) Doutzen Kroes in Jean Paul Gaultier couture from the 2000 collection for Vanity Fair, 2009. / (4-8) Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the Grand Palais, 2015. / (9) Fall 2018 Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Runway Collection. Look 34. / (10-12) Rita Ora in Jean Paul Gaultier at the 2018 MTV VMAs.
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